Triller, February 5: ‘We don’t need Universal Music Group.’ Triller, May 20: ‘We’re pleased to announced our renewed agreement with UMG.’

Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

Quick! Someone call the fire department! Also, we’re gonna need a whole bunch of mattresses, just to be on the safe side.

I mean, just look up there. Keep going… all the way up there.

Boy, from that height, Triller‘s climbdown is going to be nothing short of death-defying.

Little over three months ago, TikTok rival Triller literally published a statement which read: “Triller has no use for a licensing deal with Universal Music Group.”

That, you may remember, came in the middle of a wild public spat between the two companies.

First, UMG announced it was pulling its music off Triller in protest at the video platform not clearing the rights to its catalog.

Triller then committed grievous bodily harm on the very notion of music licensing. It claimed that it did “not need a deal with UMG to continue operating as it has been since [Universal’s] relevant artists are already shareholders or partners on Triller, and thus can authorize their usage directly”.

Today (May 20), Triller finally appears to have figured out that – if it wants to use the world’s most popular music, it might actually need a deal with the world’s biggest music rightsholder.


In the past few hours, Triller and UMG have jointly announced that they have extended their worldwide licensing agreements spanning both recorded music and publishing.

As a result, Triller’s audience can now use UMG’s full catalog on a licensed basis, including song rights managed by Universal Music Publishing Group.

“Triller has become one of the most important platforms in music today, and these agreements ensure that artists and songwriters across Universal Music Group have full access to the global Triller ecosystem.”

Bobby Sarnevesht, Triller

Bobby Sarnevesht, Chairman of Triller, said: “We are pleased to announce our renewed agreement with UMG and our new pact with UMPG.

“Triller has become one of the most important platforms in music today, and these agreements ensure that artists and songwriters across Universal Music Group have full access to the global Triller ecosystem.”

Jonathan Dworkin, UMG’s Executive Vice President, Digital Business Development & Strategy, said: “We’re pleased to have a deal with Triller that embraces the importance of compensating our artists, especially given the tremendous value music generates across their platform.

“With this agreement, UMG continues to expand the universe of licensed social media platforms that allow fans to legitimately create and share content, while also growing an important new source of revenue for our artists.”

“We’re pleased to have a deal with Triller that embraces the importance of compensating our artists, especially given the tremendous value music generates across their platform.”

Jonathan Dworkin, UMG

And UMPG Chief Counsel David Kokakis said: “UMPG’s mission is to support songwriters. By licensing new platforms like Triller, we ensure writers are fairly compensated and we are strategically delivering growth to the overall publishing business.”

Universal Music Group, like Sony Music Group and Warner Music Group, is a minority stakeholder in Triller, which claimed today that its app has now been downloaded more than 300 million times to date.

Last month, Triller’s long-running CEO, Mike Lu, vacated that position.

Lu was succeeded in the role by Mahi de Silva, the co-founder of Amplify.ai – which Triller parent TrillerNet acquired.

Lu transitioned to the role of President of TrillerNet, with a keener focus on investor relations.

Triller is believed to be eyeing a debut on the public markets in the US. Reports suggested it was hoping to do so via a Special Purpose Acquisition Vehicle (SPAC) in Q1 2021, but this did not materialize.Music Business Worldwide